Anarky, Aqualad and American Virgins
Well now, glad you’re back! I hope everyone's been findin' stuff they've been looking for.
Before I launch into this week's column, allow me to get up on my soapbox here. I read an exchange online this past week that crawled under my skin.
This hobby is going through another churn. People are back at it, buying books like crazy, some of 'em because it's like bettin' for 'em. It's kinda like when Bo and I head out to the racetrack, tryin' to pick some winners and scare up some cash.
Well, that bein' the case, when you meet a newbie in this hobby, and they've bought a bunch of books and they're happy about it, you let them be. Yeah, they might not be winners. But do us all a favor and keep your financial investment analogies to yourself.
If you’re so hot about investin', take it to Wall Street. Because I gotta tell you, this is penny ante here kids. You ain't gonna get rich offa' this stuff. You’re playin' with marbles.
Now, for the budget collectors out there just tryin to stay ahead of the hoarders and want to avoid paying out to speculatin' knuckleheads and online comic dealers best avoided, what do we got for you this week?
Get it Now!
Detective Comics Vol. 1 #608
Oh good lord, what have you been doin' if you ain't picked this book up yet? Gee, the first appearance of Anarky. Hmm. Lemme see now. When they put him in a wildly successful video game — you didn't go out and buy this. When they made him a regular pain in the ass for Batman in that short-lived Beware the Batman cartoon? Nope. Well now that there's a rumor that he might be Joker's son? Will that get you to find it for a dollar in a bin, because you sure as hell can, any day of the week! Guess where you almost can't anymore? Uh huh. Lazy folks just pay more. Go hustle a bit and claim your cheap copy!
Valiant books (various)
Yeah, I ain't sold on this stuff, honestly. Sure some Chinese company's says they're gonna plow a ton o' money into this deal, but that's all on paper as far as anyone can tell. And I frankly don’t expect them to deliver a movie of the quality that Marvel puts out. But hey, wander over to your local flea market and clean up. You can likely find all of the key issues for a buck each. On a quick run I turned up several ‘key' issues without breakin' a sweat. This stuff's literally been sittin' around since the 90's! But so did New Mutants #98 right? Pshaw! The only one I'd hazard a guess that you're not gonna find is Harbinger #1. But hey if you do, good on you.
Power Pack Vol. 1 #1
You know at some point, they're gonna do something with these characters. And when that happens, you're gonna kick yourself, thinkin', Jeez now why didn't I spend a buck and just put this in my collection when I could have? Funny enough, plenty o' folks out there are getting the same idea. These are not easily found online — if eBay is the only place you look at for comics online anyways — but they are easy pickins' at your LCS or local flea market. And if you find two, give one to someone young who just might enjoy readin' it. ‘Cuz that's why we buy comics, right?
Brightest Day Vol. 1 #4
I put my thinking cap on for this one kids. Consider: we got the Aquaman movie coming out down the road, and if you didn't notice, D.C. didn’t go with the blond, blue-eyed version of Arthur Curry that we've all cracked jokes about. Alright then, if he gets a sidekick, who's it going to be? Well, it just might be the Jackson Hyde version of Aqualad, which is the comic take on Kaldur'ahm from Young Justice. I like it because in the cartoon he was Black Manta's son. That's some synchronicity there, especially since there's a good chance that Black Manta could be the big bad in an Aquaman movie; and have you seen the prices for a first appearance of Black Manta lately? There are two covers to get. You can get the awesome Ivan Reis Hawkman and Hawkgirl skeletons embrace variant cover for under $10, so why not?
Ghost Rider Vol. 3 #1
Maybe you know, but if you didn't, the first appearance of Danny Ketch as the unhappy flame-skulled motorcyclist has been slowly pickin' up again. It used to be an easy dollar bin find, now not much so. It ain't goin' for a fortune, but you are easily lookin' at payin' $10 for a nice copy. See if you can beat that! The trick though as always with a jet-black comic cover is finding an unblemished one. Might be tough, but you could always get lucky and find one still in its original bag and board from the 90's.
Darkhawk Vol. 1 # 1
Here's another Marvel book from the 90's that has been inching up in price and disappearing from dollar bins. As I mentioned last week, his first appearance is also worth digging for, as that will save you spending $10 or more to get it online. This is understandable given his roles in the other cosmic titles as of late. I don't see him getting another solo book anytime soon. But wouldn't it be a blast to see him up on the screen at some point? Well your LCS is not gonna have it in their dollar bins anymore. But you will have better luck at your local flea market for sure or at the local con.
American Virgin #1
This just came in late-breaking. So they've optioned this Vertigo title for a movie. I don't expect this to be some barn-burning book. It was a limited series, first of all. Secondly, it was mature subject matter, which limited its appeal too. And I don't see this as a major blockbuster, but rather as an art film or drama. So no capes. But you can easily find it in back bins, so if you come across it, might just be a *very* quick $5-$7 flip online.
Uncle Sad Junk's Crazy Dollar Bin story
We all have had this experience: You carefully pick out some books, bring it up to the register, and then the store owner starts looking up prices on eBay. Well, you know that's illegal and you could make that argument that the price listed on his book is what you pay. You could leave the books on the counter too, or you can work out a price to everyone's satisfaction.
David Makman writes to me about how he managed to find the silver lining when it happened to him.
“The owner began going on eBay to price the books. I hate this with such a passion I passed on most of the books.
“On the floor next to the register was a short box with a few books in it. As he was looking stuff up on eBay, he said, ‘All them on the floor are a dollar each.' At this point I had spent a couple of hours digging through his dirty, dank messy store (my girlfriend thought it was actually closed because it looked so decrepit) and was not leaving empty-handed. I'll buy almost anything for a dollar so I began to pick.
“To my amazement, in a row, was a Preacher #1, an NYX #3, a New Mutants #87 and an Iron Fist #14. My head exploded. I grabbed another random book and showed the man the stack. He didn't even look up from the screen as he scoured eBay. I handed him a $5 and left and ran for my life. For a while I felt bad but this guy had obviously been through the bin and separated them out. I had everything graded and the Preacher 1 came back 9.8, Nyx 9.6, NM 87 9.0 and the Iron Fist #14 was 8.5! That day was the day I'll never forget.”
I must note that Mr. Makman didn't share photos of his haul, so there's no way of knowing that this is a true story or not. But as we all know — truth is stranger than fiction. So send me your stories: firstname.lastname@example.org
And for those folks who might wonder if I don’t practice what I preach:
An unblemished jet black cover that needs just a press. It's going to a certain Mr. Trey Kenyon for some TLC. What I found funny was that just the other day I was reading on some comic forums how it was *so hard* to find the ASM 9/11 tribute issue, and then I came across this. Yes squirrels, when you hustle to gather your acorns, you find 'em more than the dude searching online.
And yes, I BOUGHT THAT FOR A DOLLAR!